Asking yourself the question “Can Verizon account holder see internet history” is scary.
Without taking measures to protect personal privacy, your data is at risk for others to view.
Verizon Wireless has been criticized because it tracks web browsing history, mobile phone location via GPS, and app installation data. However, this is not uncommon for most data services.
Google, AT&T, Facebook, and countless other big tech companies routinely collect and store data. Similar to other big tech companies, Verizon can sell your data to partners and other companies.
The account holder cannot view your internet history by bills or by contacting Verizon.
No, your information and online activity are not available to the general public. Account holders have no more ease of access to your data and phone records than anyone else.
The availability of your collected data depends on whom Verizon chooses to share it with (or sell it to).
Typically, they share your collected data with marketing firms to increase the accuracy of ads.
Note: Verizon does not give out collected data on personal plans to individual subscribers.
Verizon Wireless denies access to the history of another phone, though Verizon does collect its data.
Even if you’re the account holder, you do not have access to text messaging data, internet browsing history, or voice data.
If you want access to text messages or other smartphone information to supervise your children, you need a parental control app.
Third-party parental control software helps an account holder to monitor individual subscriber lines without needing to go through Verizon.
Verizon does have its own proprietary app called Verizon Smart Family though, so concerned parents can supervise minors.
The app tracks the amount of screen time a child can get, text and call monitoring, location tracking, and more. It can even block specific URLs and websites.
Note: If your family has phones on multiple networks, you can use a monitoring app other than Verizon Smart Family which supports multiple carriers.
An account holder can see your internet history if they log DNS records on your local network.
DNS is a technology that translates public IP addresses to text. Each time you visit a website, your mobile device uses DNS to find the website server’s address.
Holders of an account who also administer a local wireless router can log DNS requests.
The logs will not show any activity on a website. However, the logs do show which websites you have visited.
In addition, Verizon Wireless (and every other carrier) maintain DNS servers. Without a third-party DNS service (offered by security services and VPNs), your mobile carrier can see every website you visit.
It is possible for an account holder to download and view the call history for individual lines on the account.
However, you cannot access the contents of the call. Instead, you can only access the call’s metadata.
For example, you can see what time a call was placed, who the recipient and sender were, but not an audio recording of the call. The same holds true for text messages.
Account holders can also get up to 18 months of billing statements, though they don’t include internet history.
For up to 90 days, account holders can download a spreadsheet of user activity via the My Verizon app, though it doesn’t include the details of messages.
You can also see the amount of data used during a given period, though not what data was sent and received. Data usage report summaries are available for the last 90 days.
As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Using simple security measures prevents others (network carriers, account holders, etc.) from taking your data.
Though Verizon does record and track information from your smartphone, there are ways to protect your data.
For instance, you can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service to encrypt your data so it’s unviewable when it’s traveling through the Verizon network.
You can also delete your web browser’s cache and history to mitigate data collection. Furthermore, it’s safer to use a privacy browser or a browser’s incognito mode.
Easy ways to protect your privacy include the following:
- Use a VPN service
- Regularly delete cached web browser data
- Use Firefox’s private browsing mode
- Use Google Chrome’s incognito mode
Note: These simple methods do not prevent all of the Verizon Wireless data collection methods.
However, they do help protect your internet privacy, which also protects against data collection from an account holder.
The short answer to the question “Can Verizon account holder see text messages” is no.
An account holder cannot see text messages sent through phones without physically holding the device. Verizon will not supply this information on a bill or provide a hard copy printout.
There are some exceptions, however. Under a court order, Verizon may be required to provide text messages that are backed up, if Verizon still has that information.
Mobile providers typically only store text data for up to 90 days.
Do be aware that an account holder can see text messages only by having physical access to the phone.
In addition to unlocking the phone and snooping through undeleted messages, the account holder could create a backup.
Many users ask “Can Verizon account holder see apps?” Verizon certainly tracks which apps each user downloads and purchases.
But Verizon does not display this information on bills or provide it to customers (even account holders).
Through account privileges and billing statements, an account holder cannot see your apps or your app data.
However, an account holder can see the apps you download via purchases. For instance, if you have a joint banking account or a shared credit card, app purchases are visible on banking and credit statements.
Although Verizon does track apps, the account holder cannot see them via the billing process.
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The nuanced answer to the question “Can Verizon account holder see internet history?” is no, not directly. The account holder cannot contact Verizon Wireless to access your data.
The account holder will not see your browsing history or text messages on a monthly bill.
Nevertheless, be aware that Verizon Wireless does collect your data, and using simple privacy tools helps reduce how much of your data is collected.
An account holder will be able to see your internet history if they have physical control over your mobile device. Otherwise, an account holder cannot view your information without a court order or a subpoena.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.